When you suffer serious injuries after being involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your losses, particularly if your wreck was caused by the negligent actions of another.
There are a number of different entities who could have contributed to the cause of your accident, all of which should be held accountable for their actions. Continue reading to learn more about some of the parties who are most commonly found liable for the damage caused in a trucking accident.
When the Trucker is Liable
More often than not, the driver of the big rig that struck you will be found culpable for your losses. This will typically be due to the trucker engaging in unsafe driving practices such as the following:
- Distracted driving – This occurs when the driver of a motor vehicle is distracted by something other than the road. This could include changing the radio station, texting or using a cell phone, using a navigation system, reaching for a beverage, or any other distraction.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol – When someone gets behind the wheel after consuming enough alcohol to impair their driving, or takes illicit drugs of any kind, they should not be operating a vehicle. Not only can they cause serious accidents, but those who drive while under the influence are subject to criminal charges.
- Aggressive driving – If a driver is weaving in and out of traffic without using a turn signal, failing to stop at red lights or stop signs, following too closely, exhibiting signs of road rage, or cutting other drivers off they are considered to be driving aggressively and increase the risk of collisions occurring due to these driving patterns.
- Fatigued driving – Any driver who is too tired to operate a vehicle safely, but does so anyway can be cited for driving while fatigued.
In some cases, the aforementioned types of driving are not just the responsibility of the truck driver, but rather the trucking company who employs the trucker. Read on to learn more about how trucking companies could be partially responsible for causing your accident and subsequent injuries.
Trucking Company Violations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides regulations that must be followed by all trucking companies across the United States. These regulations often include a mandatory number of days off for truck drivers and a specific number of hours they need to have off between shifts.
This is usually no more than seven consecutive days of work and a minimum of 13 hours off between shifts. When a trucking company violates the regulations, they can be found partially liable for your losses if the truck driver was driving while fatigued after being overscheduled or driving aggressively in order to meet the trucking companies unrealistic deadlines.
Other Parties that May be to Blame
Apart from the truck driver and the trucking company that employs them, anyone else involved in the safety and maintenance of the tractor trailer itself could have a claim brought against them if their irresponsible actions caused the truck to be unsafe.
This could include but is not limited to cargo loaders, safety inspectors, vehicle parts manufacturers, technicians, the owner of the truck, and/or any independent contractors who might’ve been involved in shipments, receiving or otherwise working with the company.
Speak with a Seasoned Truck Accident Lawyer
If you’ve endured catastrophic injuries after being involved in a crash with an 18-wheeler but you aren’t sure where to turn, a lawyer for truck accidents can help you. Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to determine who should be held accountable for your damages.
Any respectable law firm will even offer you a complimentary case review before taking on your case so that you have a better idea of what’s to come should you choose to proceed with a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.